Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

“Pacific Wave 08”: International tsunami exercise


Media Release 28 October 2008

“Pacific Wave 08”: International tsunami exercise

UNESCO led tsunami exercise, “Pacific Wave 2008” is an opportunity for the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management to train staff and test its response to Pacific tsunami bulletins.

The Ministry’s National Operations Manager, David Coetzee, said Ministry duty teams will tomorrow (Wednesday 29 October 2008) train in the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) beneath the Beehive.

“The duty teams will be responding as if an earthquake had occurred off the coast of Japan and had potentially caused a tsunami,” Mr Coetzee said. “Exercise bulletins will be issued from Japan, Alaska and Hawaii.

“We will have to react to the information in the bulletins by using the decision making procedures that we recently reviewed, and deciding to issue either a national warning or an advisory depending on the risk to New Zealand.

“Our expectation is that if a national warning is required, we would issue it within 15 minutes of information being received.”

Tsunami risk management in New Zealand

The Ministry maintains a 24/7 monitoring and warning system for all hazards, including tsunami. There is a team in the New Zealand Fire Service’s Northern Communication Centre in Auckland whose role is to, 24-hours-a-day, receive national and international information about possible civil defence emergencies and issue immediate warnings or advisories when the information exceeds stated criteria.

In Wellington, the Ministry has duty teams on call 24-hours-a-day. Their roles include, when necessary, activating the NCMC and immediately focusing on national response activities and working with regional civil defence emergency management (CDEM) agencies. They are also available to advise Northern Communication Centre staff whenever required.

If, for any reason, the North Communications Centre cannot carry out its CDEM monitoring and warning roles the Wellington-based duty teams take on those tasks.

Other recent, and continuing, tsunami risk management work includes:

• a nationwide series of tsunami preparedness seminars aimed at the 16 regional CDEM groups, and local authority planners, consultants and advisers involved in long term community planning and consent processes
• release of the National Tsunami Advisory and Warning Plan
• publication of Mass Evacuation Planning Guidelines
• gazetting of a national standard for tsunami warning and information signage
• research by GNS Science into sources of tsunami and possible impacts on different parts of New Zealand
• GNS Science and LINZ installing sea-level gauges at various locations around the coast
• research into public alerting mechanisms
• ensuring close links between New Zealand and international science agencies that monitor earthquakes and tsunami
• a wide range of mapping, alerting systems and evacuation planning within each of the 16 regional CDEM groups.

WARNING: No formal warning possible for local tsunami

It is important that people understand that while formal warnings can be issued for tsunami coming from elsewhere in the Pacific, there is unlikely to be enough time to issue a formal warning if a tsunami was caused by an earthquake near the coast of New Zealand.

This is true all around the world. If a local undersea earthquake caused a tsunami, the tsunami could arrive within minutes. No warning system anywhere in the world can react that quickly.

People should know and heed natural warnings. If you are at the coast and you:
• feel a strong earthquake (it is hard to stand up)
• feel a weak earthquake that lasts for a minute or more
• see strange sea behaviour, such as the sea level suddenly rising or falling
• hear the sea making loud or unusual noise or roaring like a jet engine

then get to high ground or go inland. Do not wait for an official warning.

Immediately after the Gisborne earthquake last year many people self-evacuated from the town. More recently a fisherman near Christchurch saw the sea behaving in an unusual way and urged people away from the coast.

“They did exactly the right thing,” Mr Coetzee said. “Thankfully in neither case was a tsunami generated. The next time there might be and people must be prepared.”

ENDS


Websites with more information about tsunami

Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management

GNS Science

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election